Earlier tonight I posted a roundup of the mock drafts that have been released in the last day, noting that Gerrit Cole was the projected pick for the Pittsburgh Pirates in three of the four drafts. Since then, Dejan Kovacevic reports that he is hearing that the Pirates will take Cole with the first overall pick on Monday.
The mock drafts all mentioned that the Pirates hadn’t finalized their decision yet, although DK would most likely have better access to this type of information. Keith Law, who was correct on Jameson Taillon last year, and who had the Tony Sanchez pick before anyone in 2009, mentioned in his mock draft that he hears the Pirates are looking to take a pitcher.
If you’ve read this site at all this year, it’s obvious that I feel Anthony Rendon is the best player available. That’s not saying Cole is bad. I just prefer college hitters, and I don’t like the workloads with college pitchers, which I explained tonight in my recap of Cole’s poor start against the University of San Francisco.
If the Pirates took Cole, it wouldn’t be a bad choice. He profiles as a front line starter, and as I mentioned tonight, I’d rank him above Jameson Taillon as the top prospect in the organization. He’s had some issues with elevating his fastball, but that’s an issue that can be worked out. Plus, it’s hard to look at a possible Gerrit Cole/Jameson Taillon/Luis Heredia/Stetson Allie rotation and NOT get excited. Granted we won’t see all four of those guys live up to their potential, but if just two of them reach their number one ceiling, that will give the Pirates two more aces than they’ve had since Doug Drabek left the organization.
I wouldn’t assume that anything is official until either the draft rolls around, or until the Pirates make a public statement on who they’re taking. That said, leading up to the weekend there was nothing but uncertainty surrounding the pick. At least now the picture is becoming clear, and it looks like Cole will be the pick.